Sumo, Japan's typical national sport has a history that stretches back over 1500 years. Its origins come from a religious purpose in particular rituals devoted to the gods to pray for a bountiful harvest. Today, the official grand Sumo tournament is held 6 times a year in Tokyo (January, May and September), Osaka (March), Nagoya (July) and Fukuoka (November).
Seeing Sumo live is a prodigious experience but it might be hard to fit into the tournament schedule with limited travelling time. Fortunately, there is a way to explore the sumo world even closer. Some "Sumo-Beya" (Sumo stables) open their morning practice sessions to the public in Tokyo. Starting times, reservation policies and opening periods vary depending on the Sumo stable. For a non-Japanese speaker, one way to organize a visit is through the concierge at your hotel. Investigate a Sumo stable’s website to understand the rules of the visit. A helpful example of a sumo stable website can be found at Arashio-Beya’s site. Another way is to book a tour with a local guide.
For information about Arashio-Beya (sumo stable), please click here.
For information about a Sumo practice tour, please click here.
After enjoying the morning practice session, why not try the Sumo wrestler's soul food, Chanko Nabe. Chanko Nabe is Japanese hot pot which Sumo wrestlers commonly eat. Often there are Chanko Nabe restaurants around the Sumo stable. Some of them managed by ex-Sumo wrestlers.
Don’t miss out the chance to discover Sumo world when you visit Tokyo next time!
For more information about Sumo, please click here.
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